If You Take These Medications, You Might Not Get A CDL


If You Take These Medications, You Might Not Get A CDL

If you suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses but take medication to treat the symptoms, you may be ineligible for a CDL or you may need a Medical Release Opinion letter.

Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses or chemical imbalances. The symptoms of these illnesses can range from minor to severe and most are easily controlled with medication. The medications given for mental illnesses can help suffers live a normal, happy life.

According to the FMCSA, “individuals who live under chronic emotional upsets may have deeply ingrained maladaptive or erratic behavior patterns. Excessively antagonistic, instinctive, impulsive, openly aggressive, paranoid or severely depressed behavior greatly interfere with the driver’s ability to drive safely. Those individuals who are highly susceptible to frequent states of emotional instability (schizophrenia, affective psychoses, paranoia, anxiety or depressive neurosis) may warrant disqualification.

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“Careful consideration should be given to the side effects and interactions of medications in the overall qualification determination. See Psychiatric Conference Report for specific recommendations on the use of these medications and potential hazards for driving.”

A 2009 FMCSA Medical report states:

It is the opinion of the MEP that all individuals with a history of the following psychiatric disorders should undergo additional medical and psychiatric evaluation to further assess functional ability before being considered qualified to drive a CMV:
•Psychotic Disorders
•Bipolar Disorders
•Major Depressive Disorder with a history of psychosis, suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation or a suicide attempt
•Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
•Antisocial Personality Disorder

The MEP believes that all individuals currently taking benzodiazepines or similar drugs which act on benzodiazepine receptors should be immediately prohibited from driving a CMV.

Individuals who take benzodiazepines for any length of time should not be allowed to drive until the drug has been cleared from their system (i.e., within seven half-lives of the drug and any active metabolites). Chronic users of benzodiazepines (i.e., regular use for more than a month) should also wait an additional week after the drug has cleared from their system before resuming driving to ensure that the drug has been completely eliminated. It is also suggested that FMCSA provide information regarding the half-life and seven half-lives of benzodiazepines and active metabolites to medical examiners for use at the time of examination.

Given the functional impairments and increased crash risk associated with benzodiazepine use, the MEP believes that:
•individuals currently taking benzodiazepines not be allowed to drive a CMV
•individuals who are taking benzodiazepines should stop taking them long enough ahead of driving for them to be cleared from their systems before being allowed to drive a CMV (it takes seven half lives for a drug to be completely eliminated from the body)
•chronic users of benzodiazepines should wait an additional week after the drug has been cleared from the body (i.e., seven half lives plus one week) before driving a CMV to ensure that it has been completely eliminated.

The MEP is of the opinion that all individuals currently taking lithium be excluded from driving a CMV at night.

What to do?

Give your Certified Medical Examiner all the information so he may contact and discuss with the prescribing doctor and if necessary get a ………………..

……………………………Medical Release Opinion

To ensure that the medical examiner can complete the DOT physical exam at your appointment you should bring a Medical Release Opinion letter from your treating physician. You can download instructions and a letter template here, or refer your treating physician to this page for the necessary information.

Download Medical Release Opinion information here.

If you do not have the necessary documentation with you, for the DOT physical exam, the medical examiner may have to temporarily disqualify your medical certificate. You will need this documentation before you can be reconsidered for qualification for a medical certificate.

Medical Conditions

These are the medical conditions listed on the FMCSA long form for which you should have supporting documentation for the medical examiner:

Illness or injury within the last 5 years • Head/Brain injuries, disorders or illnesses • Seizures, epilepsy • Eye disorders or impaired vision (except corrective lenses) • Ear disorders, loss of hearing or balance • Heart disease or heart attack; other cardiovascular condition • Heart surgery (valve replacement/bypass, angioplasty, pacemaker • High blood pressure • Muscular disease • Shortness of breath • Lung disease, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis • Kidney disease, dialysis • Liver disease • Digestive problems • Diabetes or elevated blood sugar controlled by diet or pills or insulin • Nervous or psychiatric disorders e.g. severe depression • Loss of, or altered consciousness • Fainting, dizziness • Sleep disorders, pauses in breathing while asleep, daytime sleepiness, loud snoring • Stroke or paralysis • Missing or impaired hand, arm, foot, leg, finger, toe • Spinal injury or disease • Chronic low back pain • Regular, frequent alcohol use • Narcotic or habit forming drug use

As always if you have questions drop me a message or a phone call and we will help you in any way we can:

By: Dr. Michael Tigges

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Our Location:
529 Hartsville Pike
Gallatin, TN 37066

Right next to Sumner Regional Medical Center across from Perkins Drugstore. Parking for your big rig next door in the Food Lion parking lot.

About Us

Dr. Michael J. TiggesDr. Michael Tigges

Certified DOT Medical Examiner
Chiropractic Physician


Dr. Tigges is one of the first in TN to become a certified DOT Medical Examiner of the United States Federal Government. The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners requires all medical examiners performing physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards.

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DOT Physical Doctors Driver Friendly™ DOT Physical Locations

Same Day DOT Physicals
Drug & Alcohol Testing
Gallatin, TN

DOT Medical Exam Services

  • DOT/CDL MEDICAL EXAM  ~  Our prices are the lowest in the area. $75.
  • Certified DOT Drug Testing
  • Certified DOT Breath Alcohol Testing
  • School Bus Driver Physicals
  • Pre-employment Physicals
  • DOT Random Drug Testing Programs

We offer same day appointments and while appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcome.
Our office staff Virginia and Shelia are here to help.
No Waiting! We are committed to getting you back on the road in no time.

We are a TeamCME Clinic! Nationally Recognized as a Provider of Fair, Ethical DOT Physical Exams!

For more information see our Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing website.

We take care of your DOT Medical Card process and get it done right the first time at Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing!


Other Services

    • Digital X-ray on site
    • Chiropractic treatment
    • Physiotherapy
    • Rehabilitative exercises
    • Workers’ Comp and Personal Injury Auto Accident Whiplash Treatment
    • Physical Abilities Testing Certified
    • Nutrition


Local Business Information

Food Lion Market. Perkins Drugs. Sumner Regional Medical Center. Hardens. Sonic Drive In.

Serving Tennessee local areas: Gallatin, Hendersonville, Portland, Hartsville, Westmoreland, Lafayette, Nashville, Sumner County.

DOT Physical Without Hassles

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What Drivers Are Saying

“Great place to go to! Very nice and welcoming from the moment you walk into the door. I would highly recommend everyone to go to Dr Tigges for any medical needs. The lady in the office is extremely nice as well.”
Justin M

“Very short wait time. Super friendly staff. I always get stressed when I get a physical for work, which causes blood pressure issues. The staff kept me calm and got me through it just fine. The doctor had great information to offer that will help me in the future.”
Robert D

“Great experience! Friendly professional staff. I will definitely be using them again and I highly recommend them!”
Damar N

“Very good group of people. I was a walk in. Only wait time I had was me filling out papers. Staff was excellent, made me feel like I was family. Tigges did a great job of explaining things I didn’t know and he didn’t miss a thing in the exam. I would recommend him to anyone. I am even going to send my wife there for chiropractic care. I will return for my next DOT physical.again!”
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What to Expect During Your DOT Physical

What to Expect During Your DOT Physical

The Department of Transportation requires some drivers to get regular physicals to make sure they can drive safely. If any of the following apply to you, you must get a DOT physical and carry a DOT medical certificate when you drive a commercial vehicle:

  • You are paid to operate a motor vehicle that holds nine to 15 passengers; you drive the vehicle more than 75 miles from where you report to work; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes
  • You operate a motor vehicle with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of at least 10,001 pounds; you operate this vehicle for interstate commerce purposes
  • You transport hazardous materials in certain quantities


DOT Restrictions

There are some restrictions for commercial drivers who have certain health problems. If you take injectable insulin for Diabetes, for example, you cannot get a commercial driver’s license. You must have at least 20/40 correctable vision in both eyes. The DOT does allow you to wear contact lenses or glasses to improve your vision. You cannot use narcotics, amphetamines, or other habit-forming drugs if you want to obtain or renew your commercial driver’s license.

Driver Health History 

Before meeting with the examiner, you must fill out the DOT physical form. The first section has room for your name, Social Security number, birthdate, driver’s license number, address, and telephone number. The second section asks about your medical history. You must indicate whether you have had any of the following:

  • Brain injuries or neurological disorders
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Loss of hearing
  • Impaired vision
  • Kidney disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Paralysis
  • Stroke
  • Missing limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Chronic pain


You should answer each question truthfully, or you could face serious legal consequences in the future.

DOT Physical Exam Procedure

If you want to comply with federal law, a qualified medical examiner must complete your DOT physical form. A qualified examiner may be a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or Chiropractor who has been federally certified by the FMSCA. The examiner will review your health history and ask you to list the medications you take on a regular basis. During your DOT physical, the examiner will also do the following:

  • Check your pulse and blood pressure
  • Perform a vision test
  • Observe your general appearance
  • Examine eyes ears throat
  • Listen to your heart and lungs
  • Check for spine deformities
  • Perform a neurological exam
  • Press on your abdomen to check for abnormalities
  • Perform a hernia check


DOT Physical Forms 

Once the medical examiner completes all the DOT physical requirements, you will discuss any hazards created by your health history or current medical condition. The examiner must document these hazards on your DOT physical form and determine whether you meet the standards for receiving a medical certificate.

If you meet the standards and do not require periodic medical monitoring, your certificate will be valid for two years. In some cases, the medical examiner will issue a certificate that lasts for only three months, six months, or one year. The examiner will also note whether you must wear a hearing aid or corrective lenses. If you do not meet the standards, the examiner will not be able to issue a valid medical certificate.

DOT Physicals at Your Convenience 


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Pass Your DOT Medical Exam!  Dr. Tigges knows how important it is that you continue your livelihood as a commercial driver. With his extensive knowledge of the DOT Physical Exam medical guidelines, Dr. Tigges will steer you through the DOT Physical Exam requirements so you can Keep on Truckin’. Having affordable and fast testing is crucial to keep drivers on the road and that’s what we strive to provide our clients.DOT CERTIFIED AD1



DOT Certified Medical Exams are now being offered at Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing in Gallatin, TN. Also serving Hendersonville and Portland, TN. We are focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet and exceed your expectations. We offer low-cost, quick, convenient and comprehensive medical exams for commercial drivers to meet federal DOT regulations needed to obtain and maintain commercial driver’s licenses.

Our goal is to provide a worry-free experience to our patients. Your Certified Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Tigges will treat you with the respect you deserve. Our experienced healthcare professionals will address medical issues upfront, avoiding delays in obtaining your medical examiner’s certificate.

Call Today to schedule an appointment (615) 452-1575
529 Hartsville Pike [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
Gallatin, TN 37066
Next to Sonic and Sumner Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Michael Tigges
Dr. Michael Tigges